THE LOVED – The Loved (interview)

I also have this quote I picked up somewhere, sometime…I put it on a note that hangs on my wall: “Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” Both of these lines mean something, form a bit of the base of how my songwriting should work.


Sweet Sweet Music talked to Lael Alderman about The Loved and their wonderful new EP.

Three cords and the truth – as you describe your music on FB – is often used to describe country music. Are you a country band that rocks or a rock band …. Or a pop band that ….?

Three cords & the truth… I know it is the old country adage but, for me, it comes from watching U2 take on All Along the Watchtower in Rattle & Hum. I must have snuck into the theater to watch that movie 3 times in the one week it was playing in my hometown. Twelve years old? Bono is really feeling it, breathing heavy straight into the microphone, and he vamps out: “All I got is this red guitar, three chords and truth / All I got is a red guitar, the rest is up to you.” Something in there hit me, something stuck with me. Keep it simple, keep it honest.


I also have this quote I picked up somewhere, sometime…I put it on a note that hangs on my wall: “Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” Both of these lines mean something, form a bit of the base of how my songwriting should work.


To answer your question, though…the Loved, we are a rock band. We do have the very slightest of brushes with country in some songs, though I don’t think anybody would ever mistake us for a country band. I love the song structure and melodies of old country music. They find their way into our tunes sometimes.



Mothers & Fathers is the biggest truth of them all. Is that the reason for the mantra-like outro?

I think you got it. The words in that outro seem to wrap around each other. Things do get mantra-like in there, for sure. I am a father now, and that experience has made me view my own father differently. And now I look at my kids, and that makes me think a bit differently on my own youth. In my mind, it all turned into this circle of mothers & fathers with their sons & daughters who will one day be mothers & fathers, too.


I always make a point to look into the audience when we are playing. I like to enjoy that part of playing. For years, I never did that for one reason or another. I think most performers would say the same. When we do this song, I look out into the crowd, look to see if we are connecting. On this song, more than any other, folks key in on it. The mantra of the chorus connects, the rhythm section is locked in, a momentum build. More than most of our songs, you can feel a moment happening during the show.


What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

Making this last album was a great time. We recorded all the tracks live, in a single six or seven-hour session…vocals, drums, guitars, bass. A few little dustings of studio magic followed during the two-day mix session. We could all see each other in the tracking room, lock in visually, me in an isolation booth to sing and play guitar, Daven & Jake staring each other down in a larger room. It was hot in the summer with no air conditioning. We drank a bunch of iced coffee, my wife brought us dinner. We would say it even while we were tracking the album: “It feels like a bit of magic is happening here.” We weren’t booking weeks of time on end, having to slog it out. We came into the studio with our songs, intending to do three, walked out with five. A pretty great day!


All of us in the band are so close…Daven was the best man in my wedding & we played in a band when we were younger for six years; after that, Daven & Jake have played in a band called Oh, Darling for another four years or more; all of our wives are the best of friends. Even our producer/engineer, he played lead guitar in a band he & I had together for a couple years. Making music with your best friends is about as good as it can get.




If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

I think Sun/Moon/Stars does the job of letting you know what we are about. It was one of the first songs we all worked on together, as well; the first song that let us know we were, perhaps, on to something unique & special as a band. That song will let you know I wear my heart on my sleeve. The melody & dynamics in the vocals of this song are right in our wheelhouse, and the music has some good twists & turns in it. It’s a sometimes-soft song that sometimes rocks you.


The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

Well, we have all been around playing music for a while. I put my first record out in 1998, and it went on to be the little album that could. Within six months of my friends’ label independently releasing it, I had a recording deal with Geffen Records & a publishing deal with Sony. That was a lot for a 23-year old to figure out. And those things just don’t happen anymore in the music industry. The music industry has changed a lot, and the end of the ‘90s was the greatest change in the shortest amount of time that I have seen. In classic style, my deal was done, over and dissolved before I was even able to record an album. The experience of it all, though, is something I will always have with me, and it gave me the absolute confidence to move forward with my music on my own terms with my own style.


I know Daven & Jake have been putting out records for as long as I have, and we have all had our brushes with the musical industrial complex. For each one of us, every not-so-good story is balanced by another handful of great opportunities. That being said, hindsight has a way of pointing out lessons learned and not making you too upset about any potentially missed chances. It’s why we write & play music now for the love of it; no concerns about finding a spot anywhere in the larger music industry.


She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Is this purely for getting the girl? Man, it has been a long time since making a mix tape for that! Let’s try this out:


  1. Ask – the Smiths
  2. Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
  3. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
  4. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over – Jeff Buckley
  5. Don’t Disturb This Groove – the System



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